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EC provides a further € 5.0 million
(PhP 330 million)
in humanitarian aid to help
civilian victims of conflict in Mindanao
 
     
 

The European Commission has allocated a further €5.0 million (approximately PhP 330 million at current exchange rates) in humanitarian aid to assist internally displaced persons in Mindanao . Currently, more than 100,000 people continue to be displaced as a result of conflict since 2008, most of them living in very difficult conditions in evacuation centres, at relocation sites or with host families.

This latest decision for the Philippines forms part of a number of important humanitarian assistance decisions taken by the European Commission in recent weeks : including for example €90.0 million for earthquake victims in Haiti , €33.0 million for Afghanistan , and €17.0 million for Burmese refugees in Thailand.

Md Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said in Brussels that "there are many causes of humanitarian crises around the world: extreme weather conditions and natural disasters like drought and floods, conflicts, epidemics, chronic food insecurity and poverty. Humanitarian aid is crucial in saving lives and alleviating suffering until longer term solutions are found. It goes to those most in need, irrespective of their nationality, religion, political affiliation or ethnic origin."

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, Head of the EU Delegation in Manila , said "this further assistance for IDPs in Mindanao reaffirms the EU's longstanding commitment to help alleviate the plight of victims of man-made or natural disasters, whether in Mindanao or in Manila . This new assistance will continue our help to the IDPs with food, shelter and basic health-care, as well as assisting their host communities. The EC funding will also be able to help the IDPs as they return to their homes and re-establish their livelihoods, when this becomes safely possible."

The Ambassador noted also that, including this new grant, the EC has provided a total of €17.5 million (approx PhP 1.13 billion) in humanitarian or rehabilitation assistance for IDPs in Mindanao over the last 18 months. This is in addition to the €19.5 million (approx PhP 1.26  billion) provided last year by the EU as a whole (including €10.5 million from EU Member States plus €9.0 million from the EC) for the victims of Ondoy and Pepeng in Manila and elsewhere in Luzon last year.

The new funding now approved for IDPs in Mindanao will cover such areas as food aid and nutritional surveillance – including  feeding programmes for children – as well as water and sanitation, shelter, protection, basic health care, and psycho-social activities for displaced children who rarely attend school. The assistance will also help the host communities where the IDPs are located, as well as providing support for the IDPs when they can safely return to their homes and re-establish their livelihoods. The areas to be covered under this grant will include Maguindanao, North Cotabato , Lanao del  Sur and Lanao del Norte (and other provinces if necessary). The EC funding will be implemented by international organisations and non-governmental organisations, the Red Cross / Red Crescent movement, and specialised UN agencies, in close coordination with concerned government agencies.

The Commission is also implementing a disaster preparedness programme (DIPECHO) in the Philippines to improve the coping capacities of communities prone to natural disasters, so that they are able to better prepare and protect themselves.

In addition to this humanitarian assistance, the EC also provides substantial development support in Mindanao, contributing for example to the development of basic health services in eighteen provinces across Mindanao (in cooperation with the Department of Health), to the Mindanao Trust Fund for community-based grassroots development (in cooperation with the World Bank, other donors and the Bangsamoro Development Agency), and to peace-building activities carried out by a number of civil society groups.

For further information:


 
  http://www.delphl.ec.europa.eu/
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm
 
 
 
 
 
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  Copyright 2011 Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication